Martor No. 21 / Year 2016

“The Meadow is the Mother of the Field.” Comparing Transformations in Hay Production in Three European Agroecosystems

Authors: Tommy Lennartsson, Anna Westin, Anamaria Iuga, Elizabeth Jones, Scott Madry, Seth Murray, Eva Gustavsson

About the authors:

Tommy Lennartsson
Researcher, PhD., Associate Professor, Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
E-mail: tommy.lennartsson at slu dot se

Anna Westin
Researcher, PhD., Associate Professor, Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
E-mail: Anna.Westin at slu dot se

Anamaria Iuga
Researcher, PhD., National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Romania
E-mail: anaiuga at gmail dot com

Elizabeth Jones
Research Associate, PhD., of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
E-mail: elizabeth.anne.jones at unc dot edu

Scott Madry
Research Associate Professor, PhD., Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
E-mail: madrys at email dot unc dot edu

Seth Murray
Teaching Associate Professor, PhD., North Carolina State University, USA
E-mail: seth_murray at ncsu dot edu

Eva Gustavsson
Senior Lecturer, PhD., Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
E-mail: eva.gustavsson at conservation dot gu dot se

Pages: 103-126.

Keywords: agroecology, comparative landscape studies, historical ecology, hay production, social-ecological systems (SES)

Abstract:
This research compares the production of hay in three historical European agroecological systems: in northern Romania, central Sweden and eastern central France. We analyse hay production in relation to the entire production system, the local natural conditions, and the variety of ways by which hay production was transformed over time. We found broad commonalities, but also discovered significant differences in each of three historical trajectories. Introduction of fodder crops, crop rotations and mechanization are important drivers of changes in all three areas, although the timing, sequence and causation vary from place to place. There are significant differences in the organization of farm labour, in the role of beef and dairy production, the role of political reforms and the climatic constraints of outdoor grazing which affected the transformation of fodder production. This paper highlights the potential of an integrated, interdisciplinary approach for better understanding the complex interaction of people, their social and economic contexts, and their environment.

How to cite this article: Lennartsson, Tommy, Anna Westin, Anamaria Iuga, Elizabeth Jones, Scott Madry, Seth Murray and Eva Gustavsson. 2016. “‘The Meadow is the Mother of the Field.’ Comparing Transformations in Hay Production in Three European Agroecosystems.” Martor 21: 103-126.